It's germ warfare

By Don Farmer


I am beginning to think more and more like the late American billionaire and former movie mogul Howard Hughes.

Not because I share a similar level of wealth - or even one remotely like it - but because the eccentric Hughes basically had a plethora of health phobias that induced him to clothe himself in highly protective clothing, swab his entire body on an hourly basis and disinfect just about everything within reach.

I used to scoff and laugh, but the more often I read health articles the more sympathetic to him I have become. Take this week for example.

I have learned lying can generate stress and damage your health, doing housework after a day at work is ulcer causing, using an ATM will load you up with bacteria causing sickness, being anti-social damages your mental and physical health and to top it all eating at your desk means exposing yourself to 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat.

Now, when it comes to my work station I could believe perhaps some level of bacteria could exist - that's why I eat away at lunchtime. There are some desks in our office that would be heavily infested.

Sport writer Gary Caffell works from a desk that must surely be 800 times less safe than working on a toilet seat.

Understandably Mr Caffell doesn't eat at his desk either, nor would any of the other staff risk sitting there masticating.

I suppose we should all be thankful researchers such as those who have produced this latest list of warnings exist. After all it can't be a pleasant task examining toilet seats and taking swabs of bacteria infested desks just to compare them for our benefit.

I find no fault with the housework/mental health link and readily refrain from it whenever I am able.

The lying warning doesn't apply, as I model myself on George Washington, but I will find it difficult to quit using an ATM.

I have a tip for you on this one - use your knuckle, not a finger tip when using the keypad.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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